Having a shared experience is sometimes the best comfort one can feel when in emotional upheaval. There comes a validation from knowing your feelings and circumstances are in fact normal–and that is a weight off your shoulders. A powerful way to relate to others, and to unload without judgement, is through group therapy. Here is what to expect from group therapy in Los Angeles.
What is group therapy?
Group therapy is a type of psychotherapy that involves several people and a facilitator in one session. Generally, a group will meet once or twice a week for over an hour for either a short-term or long-term period. A therapist may refer a client to a group to complement their treatment plan or an individual may choose to join a group as their sole form of therapy.
Who is it for?
There are groups specializing in most issues and general relation-focused groups. People who are dealing with depression, anxiety, social anxiety, love and sex addiction, self-esteem issues, and relationship issues–and who are ready to commit to self-improvement– can benefit from a healthy relationships group therapy. This type of group can touch on several issues to help members improve their way of being with family, co-workers, friends, and more.
What happens in a session?
Depending on the structure of the group, an open group may start with each person stating their reason for being part of the group and a brief statement of how they feel. If it is a closed group with a core set of members, each member may update the group on how they feel at that point in time, any progress or regressions for the week, and any stories they feel they need to share.
There are several ways that group counseling is facilitated. Some counselors may choose to have a free-form dialogue where people are invited to chime in as they please and deem appropriate. Other therapists prefer a more controlled environment where they will pose a question and offer members to respond to it one-by-one and piggy-bank off of each other. And some therapists prefer a dynamic approach where they will have members interact with each other through exercises.
What are the benefits?
Group therapy can provide a lot of healing for individuals. When people are brought together at the right time in the right dynamic, members can feel as though they are seen and not alone. As people disclose and reveal their vulnerabilities, they will begin to realize how similar they are to one another and may find comfort in knowing they are all in it together. Group therapy also allows people to be supportive and supported. When a member shares their thoughts and feelings within the group, the other members may engage with the person speaking by actively listening then providing feedback or comforting words. This process helps people find their voice, improve their listening and empathy skills, and learn about themselves through others’ experiences.
Where to go for group therapy in Los Angeles?
There are many options to choose from in LA so it is essential to find a facilitator that you feel safe with and resonates with you. It is also important to take note of the therapist’s areas of interests to make sure your priorities (such as LGBTQ issues or interracial identity) will be recognized. Grazel Garcia Psychotherapy offers affordable therapy in Silverlake CA to help guide you through roadblocks, with the support of others dealing with similar circumstances.
For more information on therapy, contact Grazel Garcia at (323) 487-9003.